Junkie for President! (just imagine the campaign button)

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Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

Now that Stephen Colbert is a "candidate" for president in both parties (and polling in the single digits, by the way), the news media needs to figure out how to cover this (not to mention what will happen to his show if he actually turns up on a ballot somewhere, a la Fred Thompson and Law & Order). You know these are strange days when Colbert plays it straight on Meet the Press while Tim Russert waves a Bert doll and demands to know why "Ernie & Bert" aren't pronounced "Ernie" and "bear." Ana Marie Cox had the right take on this one at Time's Swampland blog:

His interview yesterday was painfully so-ironic-it-was-unironic, and induced the kind of cringes you usually associate with Larry Craig. Russert tried way too hard, Colbert maybe not hard enough, or maybe there's something about "fake newsers" actively participating in "real" news that forces you to realize there's no hope for either genre.

We'll drag her into the Political Junkie fray, to talk a bit about the fake "news" man's candidacy, and the dangers of real newsmen taking the funny-bait.

And there's plenty more to talk about with Ken Rudin: Mitt Romney's Osama/Obama mixup, Sam Brownback's graceful exit, and the most recent Republican debate, among other things.



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Colbert is beating Governor Bill Richardson, who is a REAL candidate

Sent by Ron Mwangaguhunga | 2:53 PM | 10-24-2007

I might take Ana Marie Cox's comments more seriously if she didn't punctuate her speech with "like" and "you know."

Sent by Russ Dean | 2:54 PM | 10-24-2007

Colberts reach is even farther than Anna reported - and sobering about how far the GOP is from young voters. The Rasmussen poll today reported (http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/comedian_colbert_reaches_double_digits_as_third_party_candidate)
Colbert does particularly well with the younger voters most likely to be watching his show and therefore most aware of his myriad presidential-like qualities. In the match-up with Giuliani and Clinton, Colbert draws 28% of likely voters aged 18-29. He draws 31% of that cohort when his foes are Thompson and Clinton. In both match-ups, Colbert has more support with young voters than the GOP candidate.

Sent by Peter Wray | 3:00 PM | 10-24-2007

On today's political junkie, Ken Rudin's dismissal of Mitt Romney's connection of the names Osama and Obama as "unintentional" is pure BS. It's clear that Romney did that intentionally. Listen to the recording....he first says "Osama" and then corrects himself to say (very clearly and with purpose) Barack Obama....not once but twice. Make no mistake about it....it was no mistake. And it comes as no surprise...in fact, I'm surprised I haven't heard it from other Republicans before now. I would ask NPR not to continue promoting this so-called slip of the tongue as it will only encourage others to make the same silly, unfair and politically-motivated connection.

Sent by Penelope Welz | 4:20 PM | 10-24-2007

Just a thought, facebook, the primarily young person's social networking page has a group entitled 1,000,000 Strong for Stephen T Colbert. This group was started on 10/17/2007 and already has upwards of 788,000 members, it just shows how the young people truly dislike the main street candidates.

Sent by Eric Koch | 8:44 PM | 10-24-2007

Was Anamarie(sp?) Cox serious when she pities pathetic Tim Russert for his lame "Bert" joke? "Sadly," foolishly brandishing a muppett?

I mean, not otherwise a bad report, and not that I haven't felt sad for Tim Russertt in one or another of those times I've glanced at him, but, um, d'you really think so? He looked lame.

I'm mean, I'm of an age paralllel to his, often naive too, and didn't even see the show anyway, but Tim always lookks so sort of flushed and embarrassed for the interviewee anyway, bless his heart, that how can you tell if he looks somehow shamefully foolishly engaged while waving his Bert at Colbert?

As a sometimes naive guy of an age parallel to Tim's, but not contstrained to maintain the decorum of the suit, as perhaps Anamarie(sp?) has of late, but, pant pant pant.

What I mean to say, I don't think "Senior." Dean," exalted poobah Tim takes himself quite that seriously. I think Tim recognizes that this precisely fits Comedy Central at night. Perhaps, like me, he actually gets more of his TV current events coverage, like me, a paralllel guy, from The Daily Show. We see quite enough of the major "journalistic" news coverage over the shoulders of people we inevitably associate with during the day, so we don't really have to much watch it to know what they'rre up to.

Anyway, maybe Annna Marie(sp?) had some ironic else in mind when she said that, which I I would totallly apppreciate if I weren't so out if it, in which case I retract everything above except that which maky have elicited achuckle. I may apologize, if need be. BUt if so, i fairness then, alternatively, if situationallly apt, may I gloat? Preen? Indulge boosted self-esteem?

Interview Colbert about the meaning of Bert in his life?

Sent by davy B | 9:08 PM | 10-24-2007

I think a lot of people are missing the point about Colbert's candidacy. On the very first Colbert Report after he announced his candidacy, he had one sketch on the processes involved in getting on the ballot in South Carolina (which involves a $35,000 cheque to get on the ballot as a GOP candidate, but only $3000 as a Democrat, which can in turn be replaced by a petition with enough signatures of South Carolina Democratic-leaning residents), and another about the somewhat-tenuous lines that the FEC draws in terms of the usage of donor money in a Presidential campaign. Both sketches were incredibly funny and also quite insightful, but focus on the minutiae of the Presidential process that just wouldn't have an entry point of interest without his candidacy as an entry-point-of-interest for the audience. My guess is that the regular viewers of the Colbert Report are about to get a whole lot more informed on all of the details involved inside a Presidential campaign, and how the two party system works within the individual states.

Sent by Mason Macklem | 1:57 AM | 10-25-2007

I think Mason summed it up perfectly. I'm a 22 year journalist raised and still living in Iowa. I won't lie, I'm one of the millions of Americans who get most of their tv news from Stewart/Colbert ( and NPR of course) listening to anyone else makes my skin crawl. Everyday at work I get tons of emails from each candidate telling me about their impact and so on. Colbert is actually making a difference. Last night he had the criag from craigslist.com on. If you go to donorschoose.org you can see what kind of support colbert is getting. As of this morning Americans donated $34,000 to teachers and schools in South Carolina in Stephens name. 2nd place goes to Obama with only a couple thousand. Don't underestimate colbert, the youth are fed up. We may not being marching on campuses and joining communes but we know how to download pdf files and spread word over the internet which in todays world could have far more impact then shaking hands and kissing babies. It will be interesting to see where this all goes. And the facebook group mentioned before is the fasting growing group for that site in its history. And yes I am a member.

Sent by Meghan Powers | 11:46 AM | 10-25-2007

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